UK-based PV company Solarcentury is collaborating with the EU and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on a €5.7 million (US$6.56 million) electrification project in East Africa.  

The two mini-grid hybrid solar systems, powered by solar PV and lithium batteries, are designed to bring reliable power to agricultural communities Areza and Maidma in Eritrea.

The projects will provide sustainable power for 40,000 people and businesses that are currently using diesel generators, which are expensive and damaging to the environment.

A representative for the Eritrean Ministry of Energy and Mines said the project will be economically and environmentally beneficial and improve local living standards.

The project is being funded primarily by the European Union, with the Government State of Eritrea and UNDP contributing just under €2 million (US$2.3 million) each.

Completion of the project is scheduled for early 2018.

Solarcentury previously worked on a 1MW rooftop solar project in Kenya with London Distillers.

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